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Belgian Shepherd Tervueren: Features and More!

Belgian Shepherd Tervueren

The Belgian Shepherd Tervueren is an intelligent and sociable breed that thrives under firm and fair leadership.
Originally bred as a sheepdog, they are increasingly finding work in security services due to their ability to handle complex tasks with ease.

The breed is recognized as four different varieties, the Groenendael, the Laekenois, the Malinois and the Tervueren. The differences mainly concern their layers and colorations.

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Special features

  • Origin: Belgium
  • Life expectancy: 12-16 years
  • FCI Standard: Group 1: Herding Dogs and Cattle Dogs Function Watchdogs
  • Size: Medium-sized breeds Common diseases
  • Weight: 20-30 kg
  • Coat length: long haired
  • Character / temperament: eager to work, eager to learn, active

Origin and history of the breed

The Belgian Shepherd Tervueren is a long-haired Belgian shepherd dog, tawny with a black mask. It represents one of the four varieties of this breed of dog.

The varieties differ only by their coat: the long-haired ones are the black Groenendael and the reddish-brown to fawn Tervueren Belgian Shepherd , the rough-haired Laekenois and the well-known short-haired Malinois. They are bred to a standard that includes all four varieties.

Belgian Shepherds, including the Tervueren, were formed as a breed of dog around 1900. It was a breed formation process comparable to that of the German Shepherd.

Before 1900, the working dogs of the shepherds and cattlemen of Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and several other countries belonged to a single large and varied group of sheepdogs. Depending on their requirements, which were set by the man with the job duties, the dogs were regionally different everywhere. In areas where there were still wolves and lynxes, sheepdogs used to be stronger, because they also had to do the work of the pack’s protection dogs.

The Belgian sheepdogs were rather slimmer and more agile, because they had to work very skillfully and forward thinking with the herds of the already densely populated area divided into a small scale at that time. The wolves or lynxes had been exterminated a long time ago anyway. The Belgian sheepdogs also did other jobs in the service of man. They helped as lead dogs to lead the herds of cattle to the slaughterhouse, until the railroad took this job away from them.

They served everywhere as occasional draft dogs, usually in teams of two. They also often served as guard and yard dogs. However, these western European sheepdogs represented a single, huge gene pool that was not divided by country or even coat varieties. This gradually changed around 1900.

In 1891 the Club du Chien de Berger Belge (Belgian Sheepdog Club) was founded. He soon came to a first show, in which no less than 117 dogs were shown, albeit colorfully mixed, partly still with their ears hanging down. Then it was very fast with the development of today’s Belgian Sheepdogs.

In 1901 the breed was officially recognized. All four varieties were bred from the beginning, but crossing was still allowed. The two world wars caused severe setbacks. However, the breed was quickly revived and developed into a first-class working and service dog.

The Belgian Shepherd Tervueren is not so well known in Germany. Only the short-haired Malinois is known here, which led to a great reputation as a service dog.


The Belgian Shepherd Tervueren is a medium-sized, long-haired dog. It is immediately recognizable as a sheepdog. Their coat color is defined in the standard as follows:

Black-fawn or black-greyish wool with black mask only, but preferably black-fawn. The fawn’s color should be warm, not light or faded. All dogs that are not tawny black or whose color tone does not correspond to the desired intensity cannot be considered as excellent specimens.

The coat, as in the equally long but black haired Groenendael, should be profuse and shiny, with a dense undercoat. The top layer is long on the body, short on the face and front of the legs, and longer on the neck. There it forms an opulent necklace, especially in men. The standard gives a range of body measurements.

The desired size or height at the withers is on average 62 cm for males and 58 cm for females. The weight should be around 25-30 kg for males and 20-25 kg for females. The Belgian Shepherd Tervueren is a very beautiful dog, but not a “beautiful” dog. It has always been and still is a versatile working dog of the highest quality.


The Belgian Shepherd Tervueren , like all Belgian Shepherds, is at its roots a herding and driving dog. However, he has always had a wide range of other duties up to the physically heavy work as a draft dog. Although you may not see it at first glance, it is a very robust and strong working dog, capable of the highest performance.

It is almost the same size as the German Shepherd, but much less massive, making it faster, more agile, and responsive. The balance between body weight and performance is very effective. The Belgian Shepherd Tervueren can be used in many different ways. For example, it works in many areas as a service dog in rescue, customs or the police. It is a good watchdog.

In addition, it also does very well as a sports dog. However, it is not as performance-oriented as its short-haired relative – the Malinois. The banner demands a lively and lively temperament, as well as strong character traits, which know neither fear nor aggressiveness.

The Belgian Shepherd Tervueren as a working dog – very intelligent, sensitive and above all willing to work – needs a master and a mistress who are active with him. You should always keep this in mind. If these dogs are not challenged, they can vent their frustration in long-term aggression. If you work with the Belgian Shepherd Tervueren professionally, whether in service or in sport, he is also a wonderful family dog.


The Belgian Shepherd Tervueren is extremely undemanding in terms of external conditions for its maintenance. However, it is extremely demanding when it comes to handling it.

You need to keep busy in a species-appropriate way. In addition, it is ideal as a companion for jogging, horse riding or cycling. He also likes to get in the water, even in winter.

The Belgian Shepherd Tervueren needs a lot of exercise each day, otherwise he will become restless and unbalanced. A rural setting is ideal, where you can be taken on daily excursions in addition to work or sports. The Belgian Shepherd Tervueren needs active people around him. It is not a couch potato or a lap dog.


The Belgian Shepherd Tervueren , like all Belgian Shepherds, take a long time to grow. It is not until he is three years old that he is properly mature mentally. Since these dogs are dedicated, willing to work, and highly intelligent, they make great demands on their owners early on. They are very easy to train, but you have to know how. In the early days, they should be given plenty of time to play, while at the same time learning the basic rules of life with people.

Direct training and so-called obedience education should begin with reasonably stable individuals around the 10th month of life. Unfortunately, sometimes, despite the legal prohibition, stun weapons and other violent measures are used. This only destroys self-confidence and the joy of working the dogs.

The use of such means is not even necessary and only shows the incompetence of such owners. Dogs are willing and able to learn and on the basis of trust as well as proper communication for dogs, enormous achievements are made in the service of humans. A Belgian Shepherd Tervueren must be educated first like any dog.

There he learns the social rules, commandments and prohibitions. After that, a Belgian Shepherd Tervueren must receive training as a rule. Only there can he develop his temperament and satisfy his need for work. For training, you should definitely contact the appropriate professionals from dog schools and clubs.

Care and health

The Tervueren is a sturdy, low-maintenance dog.

Coat care

The coat does not require any special care. Regular brushing is sufficient.

Typical diseases of the breed

None in serious upbringing.


The Tervueren has no special dietary requirements.

Life expectancy

The Tervueren is in robust health and fitness and can easily live to be 12 years or older.

Buy a Belgian Shepherd Tervueren

If you want to buy a Tervueren, you must bear in mind that it is a real working dog. The price to buy a Belgian Shepherd Tervueren starts from 1200 dollars.

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I love the animals. Reading and writing about them, their customs, their peculiarities or the attention they require is exciting, and I also believe that it makes us better people. I share articles that solve the questions that dog caregivers face on a daily basis.

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